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Contractors sue Coppola

Eleven contractors working on projects for California's Francis Ford Coppola Winery are demanding US$1.8m payments, while two are suing the winery.

One of the lawsuits is scheduled for conference this Thursday in Sonoma County Superior Court.

General contractor Grassi & Associates is seeking nearly $1.3m, which has been due since August 2010.

The winery has paid off invoices already submitted, but disputes many of the final invoices. There is some dispute as to how and when Grassi’s subcontractors will be paid.

Mark Grassi, the firm’s president, confirmed his company has worked for Coppola on many projects over ten years and said he is ‘pleased’ with the positive response he has had.

‘We expect to be paid in full for our services,’ he said.

According to Coppola representatives, the invoices in question were received by the winery in November and they are awaiting documentation supporting them.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery has no idea when the subcontractors billed Grassi and whether Grassi chose to pay or not pay the subcontractors,’ Decanter.com was told.

Subcontractor Tom LeDuc of plumbing contractor LeDuc & Dexter said, ‘At this point it’s in the hands of our attorney. Though Coppola contacted us, this was redundant as our contract is with Grassi. They haven’t payed us our US$55,000 due since last July.’

The various claims relate to work done on the former Chateau Souverain winery, which Coppola bought in 2006 and renovated in the style of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. It opened in July last year.

Written by David Furer

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